Saturday, July 08, 2000

Great American Ball Park has cash-register ring to it

By Cliff Peale
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Carl H. Lindner and son Carl III announce ballpark name Friday.
(Jeff Swinger photo)
| ZOOM |
        There was a lot of nostalgia about the great American game on Friday, but the deal to put the Great American name on the new Cincinnati Reds ballpark is about cold, hard dollars.

        The insurance company controlled by Reds owner Carl Lindner Jr. will pay $75 million over 30 years for the naming rights, the team confirmed.

        Mr. Lindner agreed that the Reds had taken an important financial step with the new revenue, which will start when the Great American Ball Park opens in 2003.

        “I'd say that the team is on a firm footing,” he said. “You have to look at it in relation to the size of the city ...

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        “You're not going to be New York and you're not going to be L.A. Forget that.”

        Reds chief operating officer John Allen said the deal would include Great American signs outside the stadium and around the scoreboard.

        Great American also will get marketing and media promotional rights, which he said are being negotiated.

        The Reds will use some of the naming-rights revenue to pay their $30 million contribution to construction costs, and also maintenance costs on the new park.

        Counting the cost to tear down Cinergy Field, the to tal cost for the ballpark will be about $330 million.

        “Just as the Reds are a great baseball team, it's appropriate that they play in Great American Park,” Mr. Lindner said.


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